Born in Shropshire soon after the end of the First World War, venerable motoring writer W de Forte has driven everything from his grandfather’s first Daimler, to modern-day supercars … ridden everything from vertiginous Victorian penny farthings, to high velocity twenty-first century superbikes … travelled everywhere from the permafrost of the Arctic Circle to the baking sands of the Baja Peninsula … and met everyone from Tazio Nuvolari to Valentino Rossi.
W de Forte enjoyed an eventful career as a top-level journalist, spanning 75 years, during which time he tested many thousands of cars and reported on countless automotive events around the world. This made him uniquely qualified to comment on all aspects of classic and vintage motoring and motorcycling.
Relatively undimmed by age and ague, even in his mid-90s, de Forte had no plans to retire, but, in early 2011, a high-speed prang while testing a wayward Rudge Ulster at a racing circuit in Belgium brought him up with a jolt, both literally and metaphorically. After recuperating in hospital, he settled down to write his long-awaited and much requested autobiography.
This unique and insightful book is the result. Packed with fascinating stories about classic cars and motorcycles, A Life Awheel – the ‘Auto’ Biography of W de Forte is an account of an extraordinary motoring life, and the story of motoring in the 20th century.
• The autobiography of the extraordinary motoring journalist
• A wonderful whimsical narrative, carrying us briskly through a century of motoring and motorcycling history
• The forthright opinions and considered reflections of a key journalistic figure and veritable motoring sage
• An engrossing, insightful book about the inestimable joy of motoring
• A discursive narrative woven around hundreds of humorous anecdotes which together carry the reader joyously back through time
• Historic motor cars and motorcycles, both iconic and everyday, are central to fascinating stories and period diary extracts
• Written with brio, and more than a dash of period journalistic argot. Jam-packed with fascinating historical information
• A brisk read; nostalgic, humorous, positive, and light – but with hidden depths to be appreciated by the knowledgeable automotive enthusiast and connoisseur
• A fun book about classic cars and motoring from a truly unique point of view
• A century of British life – in village, town, across England, and the world beyond – brought back to life through wonderful characters and places, and seen through the particular prism of a unique motoring life